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#4150 - 08/23/01 12:24 AM Is It Normal???
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have just recently felt that I may have been sexually abused when I was younger (around 8 years old) but the scary thing is that I am now 24 and just now coming to terms with it in my head. I have thought this for some time now, but jsut recently i have been able to but an age, time period and causes of why I may feel this way. I just need to know or have some light shed on why this is comng out now. Is this normal?? I guess counseling is the best thing to do. Im not one to ask for advice either or help. So you guys are all i have right now. Feel free to email me. bpick21@aol.com


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#4151 - 08/23/01 06:21 AM Re: Is It Normal???
Just Call me J Offline
Member

Registered: 07/14/01
Posts: 204
Loc: Inland Empire, California
If you dig back as far as July, you'll find my posts about how I discovered I was abused as a child. I'm 27. I don't remember much at all about it.

But as far as, "Why now?" I think it's because NOW you have grown up enough that you can emotionally deal with it.

I think that you and I are some of the "lucky" ones, in that we've been able to continue on, relatively normally, in our lives, without the dramatic types of issues of many of the others here.

That said, your question of "Is this normal?" can only be answered with "As normal as possible, considering that some trusted older person took advantage of you, when you couldn't understand what was going on."

My best advice is, first, get counseling. We, on the boards, will all offer up what advice we can, but someone trained to deal with this will be more beneficial. Second, make sure you've got a support system, beyond this place. You never know when your ISP will have a brain fart, or your computer will take a dump, so a real live, breathing friend can offer more than we can, sometimes (hugs, f'rinstance). Third, don't hide from this; deal with it head on. Your mind hid it from you, until you were ready to handle it; the time is now.

Please continue to post here. I find it valuable to vent, or work things out that percolated in my head while at work. Plus, my best friend/support system is on vacation... Heh heh heh!

Take care, bud.

J
We're in this together.

_________________________
We're in this together. - Nine Inch Nails

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#4152 - 08/23/01 02:52 PM Re: Is It Normal???
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi, and welcome! I agree 100% with Just Call Me J. I've been dealing with my stuff for about 14 years now. Supports are REAL important, both here and live people at home, therapist, etc.

I am really glad that you are dealing with this now, at age 24. Good for you! I was about 31 or 32 when I started recovery.

Good luck in your recovery journey, and I hope you keep coming back!

LanceC


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#4153 - 08/23/01 09:46 PM Re: Is It Normal???
Anonymous
Unregistered


I want to thank you guys so much for listening and taking the time to respond. It really means alot to me and hell its chaper than counseling, LOL but ehy ill get tehre one day. Thanks alot i hope to write more of you very soon.


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#4154 - 08/24/01 02:36 PM Re: Is It Normal???
michaelb Offline
Member

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 211
Loc: cincinnati, ohio
no, coming to terms with the abuse is normal from what i've read.....you deal with it mentally either when you are forced to or when you become ready to deal with it.....i'm 42 and just beginning to come to terms with my abuse......i've known it deep inside for a long time but have been unable and unwilling to deal with it until the last few months......it has messed me up so much, i've never been able to have sex with anybody......i'm just afraid i'll freak out and the memories will come flooding back.....you should be very proud of yourself.....for beginning to deal with the abuse at a relatively young age......me, i've squandered my whole life away living in fear and confusion.....i think therapy will help you.....but be prepared.....i've been in therapy for about 6 months and it still feels like things are getting worse and worse......but, other guys at this sight tell me that it will eventually get better.....i'm still not sure i believe them, but i'm trying to......i guess time will tell......if you'd like to e-mail me to talk more, my e-mail is mikedow24@hotmail.com......if not, that is ok too......just take care of yourself......michael


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#4155 - 08/25/01 11:09 AM Re: Is It Normal???
Anonymous
Unregistered


Coming to terms with our abuse is, indeed, extremely painful and scary and filled with lots of vey uncomfortable emotions and even physical reactions. Indeed, it usually feels worse at first because we have spent our lives repressing, supressing and avoiding the feelings in one way or another.

These are powerful feelings we have been carrying for so long, and it can feel real shitty when we finally start to deal with them. It can feel overwhleming at times.

YES, IT DOES GET BETTER! However, there may be times when we go from feeling better to feeling worse again as we slowly peel the layers off the wounds and pain and begin to heal them. In fact, I have been in recovery for about 14 years now, and I would say that the last few weeks have been the most painful of all because I am finally dealing with the biggest chunks of pain and loss I have, I think. The difference for me now is that I am really ready to deal with it and allow myself to fully feel what is inside me. I know thatI can take it and that the more I allow myself to feel the feelings, the better I feel in the long run. For example, I cried for almost the entire day two days ago..I just could not stop. I wrote in my journal all about what i was feeling and why and gained incredible new insights and strength from the experience. The next day (yesterday), I felt much better. Today, I am feeling some sadness again, but not nearly as intensely as the other day.

YES, IT DOES GET BETTER. We just need to keep working at healing and recovery and get the professional and other supports we need to do so. The more we do it, the better it gets.

Good luck, and please keep coming back!

LanceC


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#4156 - 08/26/01 01:52 AM Re: Is It Normal???
Just Call me J Offline
Member

Registered: 07/14/01
Posts: 204
Loc: Inland Empire, California
Thanks for adding to my original advice, guys! I'm on a really empowered kick right now, so I may be charging on a little blindly.

Another important point I forgot to mention was knowing your limits. I take that one for granted for myself, but I also forget that abuse does a number on what we allow ourselves to go through.

Urso is absolutely right about being able to take breaks now and then. I've been filling my time in the last couple weeks with a variety of activities that bring me joy (especially in the week and a half that my best friend/confidant has been out of town). It's all about balance. When the revelation first came out in July, I spent almost every waking moment thinking about, dealing with, discussing or otherwise being occupied with the abuse. It got VERY exhausting...

Now, I find I'm spending less than 2 hours a night in this forum, when I used to spend most of the evening (of course, writing 12 pages posts adds to that, as well) hanging out here.

And I also feel a LOT more healthy about the whole thing than I did before. I've got a clearer vision of my career goals (to earn my Masters in Social Work, so I can continue working with abused kids), I'm becoming more assertive (complained to my rental office, without resorting to any curse words; questioned my boss why I haven't seen the raise I got approved for 4 months ago; and got an answer on the schedule change I requested 10 months ago), and finally I met an attractive young lady that I actually feel comfortable with. All in all, things are good.

My uncle came into town, and I told him about all that has come up since July, and he was surprised at how well I'm doing (he's been in therapy for 15 years over the same issues); tomorrow, when my aunt (sister to my mom, and the aforementioned uncle) arrives I plan to let her know as well. She's my god-mother, she's a social worker, and we're pretty tight, anyway. I'm still going to wait on telling the rest of my family.

Anyway, I want to spread the message that there IS hope after abuse. My mom survived, as well (not perfectly, but she made it).

Take care, T.Y. Don't give up hope!

J
We're in this together.

_________________________
We're in this together. - Nine Inch Nails

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#4157 - 08/31/01 09:55 PM Re: Is It Normal???
Anonymous
Unregistered


T.Y.,

It's interesting that you used the word "normal" in your question. It's the thing that probably plagues us all of our lives because in my opinion when one is abused in childhood, reality/normality becomes distorted. I didn't remember having been abused as a kid until about forty years after it happened...when I was reading a book that my wife was reading about her own childhood sexual abuse. Something jumped off of the page and it all came tumbling out...

Therapy is important, as others have pointed out. Friends are important, too. We can't go back and undo what was done in childhood, but by naming it (as you have already done!) by bringing it out into the open, and by talking about it with friends and family (and a therapist), there's no reason why you can't have a (get this...!) "normal" life.

I have been outwardly posing for years as having it all together....now I am in the process of backfilling so that I can try to heal and become whole inside.

Good luck, T.Y. We're all here with you.

Dynamite Don


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